Dr. Donald Rix to receive the CMA's highest honour


    OTTAWA, Aug. 12 /CNW Telbec/ - On August 19, the Canadian Medical
Association (CMA) will present the 2009 F.N.G. Starr Award to businessman,
philanthropist and community volunteer Dr. Donald Rix from Vancouver, BC.
    "His spirit of generosity is a source of inspiration to all health
professionals," said CMA president Dr. Robert Ouellet. "He is an exceedingly
generous physician who is widely admired by the medical profession for his
dedication to making his community and the world a better place."
    "I consider it a great honour to receive the F.N.G. Starr Award", said
Dr. Rix. "I always felt that being involved in the community was the right
thing to do. By donating time and money, my wife and I have worked to try to
meet educational challenges felt in isolated communities and to fulfill our
international commitment to bring help and hope to the Khmer people of
Cambodia."
    An innovator with a longstanding interest in linking science, technology,
industry and education, Dr. Rix is chairman of the board of directors of
LifeLabs Medical Laboratory Services (British Columbia), Stirrat Laboratories
(Alberta) and Trainor Clinical Laboratories (Manitoba). He is also chairman
and director of CanTest Ltd., Prime Trials Inc., and Europa Ltd.
    Dr. Rix studied arts and medicine at the University of Western Ontario,
and earned his specialty certificate in general pathology in 1968. He is a
fellow of the College of American Pathologists, the Royal College of
Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and the American Society of Clinical
Pathologists. He has been awarded honorary doctorates by the British Columbia
Institute of Technology (BCIT) and the universities of Western Ontario, Simon
Fraser, British Columbia, and Victoria. In 1992 he was admitted as a fellow in
the Royal Society of Medicine.
    A clinical assistant professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at
University of British Columbia for many years, he was awarded emeritus status
in 2000. A lifetime member of the UBC President's Circle, he has been a member
of the board of the UBC Foundation since 2004 and serves on the advisory
council of the graduate studies faculty. He is also a member of UBC's board of
governors.
    Dr. Rix is also a generous financial supporter of medical and science
education. In 2009 he donated $4 million to UBC, half of which will endow
bursaries for medical students in financial need. In a press release
announcing the gift, UBC President Martha Piper said: "This generous gift will
significantly advance student access to medical education and is a farsighted
contribution to efforts to ease B.C.'s doctor shortage in rural and remote
communities."
    Dr. Rix's generosity contributed to the establishment of UBC's Northern
Health Sciences Centre, which uses state-of-the-art technology for training
northern physicians and nurse practitioners. Three years ago he also
established the BC Leadership Chair in Aboriginal Environmental Health at
University of Northern British Columbia so that health and environment data
could be linked in an effort to identify potential health risks in the
aboriginal population.
    Dr. Rix was involved with the British Columbia Institute of Technology
for more than 25 years. In addition to being a member of the faculty, he
chaired the board of directors and served on various committees. He is a
charter member of the BCIT President's Club and a former director of its
Foundation. He has also been a strong supporter of Simon Fraser University,
serving as chair of the council of the Segal Centre for Graduate Management
Studies and as a director of the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue.
    Dr. Rix is well known for his business acumen and vision for technology,
particularly as it applies in the field of medicine. Former chair of the BC
Innovation Council and chair of its international committee, he has led a
number of science-technology delegations and trade missions to China and other
Pacific Rim countries. He has served on a federal advisory group on
international trade in health care and medical products. A member of the
Premier's Technology Council, Dr. Rix also is a past chairman and director of
Genome BC.
    Dr. Rix serves on the boards of many biotechnology companies, where his
leadership is highly valued. Currently he also is a member of the board of BC
Technology Social Venture Partners and its Industries Association, which
presented him with a technology impact award (2005). In 2005 Ernst and Young
awarded him and CanTest Ltd. its Entrepreneur of the Year honour for health
sciences, as well as a national citation for promoting entrepreneurship. He
has been inducted into the Business Laureates of British Columbia Hall of Fame
(2006), and is an honorary fellow of the Sauder School of Business (2007). In
addition, he has received a lifetime achievement award from Biotechnology
Alliance (2001).
    Dr. Rix has chaired the Vancouver Board of Trade, and chairman and
director of the Sunny Hill Health Centre Foundation, and acting as a director
of BC Children's Hospital Foundation and the BC Cancer Foundation. Dr. Rix and
his family are patrons of the arts in British Columbia, with particular
interest in the Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver Opera and Festival Vancouver.
    Dr. Rix found time for his medical associations during his busy career. A
former member of the BCMA board of directors and various committees, he
continues to chair the finance committee. At the national level, he served on
the CMA's finance and allied health professional committees. His generous
spirit extended to his colleagues: Dr. Rix established a physician's
benevolent fund to help those in the profession who are unable to look after
themselves due to illness. A senior member of both the British Columbia and
Canadian medical associations, he was awarded the BCMA Silver Medal of Service
Award (2004).
    Other accolades include investiture in the Order of British Columbia
(2004) and the Order of Canada (2007). He is a member of the Sovereign Order
of St. John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitaller and in 2002 was awarded the
Queen's Golden Jubilee Award.
    Dr. Donald Rix will become the 44th recipient of the CMA F.N.G. Starr
Award at a special ceremony at the TCU Place in Saskatoon, Sask. as part of
the CMA's 142nd annual meeting.




For further information: Lucie Boileau, Manager, Media Relations, (800)
663-7336 or (613) 731-8610, ext. 1266, Mobile: (613) 447-0866